Beaufort County group trying to keep Blounts Creek clean amid court date

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – While a grassroots group in Beaufort County is waiting for their next day in court, they’re taking matters into their own hands to keep their water clean.

Back in September of 2013, the group filed a lawsuit against the state because it issued a permit to a mining company that could pump well water into Blounts Creek.

In March of 2015, an administrative law judge ruled against the creek supporters. It was appealed this past September when a judge ruled the case could continue.

A number of people in Beaufort County still want to save the creek from possible pollution from a mining company.

“It’s a recreational haven. It’s a very beautiful pristine creek and it really should be protected for the long-term,” said Heather Deck, of Sound Rivers.

The next step is a court date in May. In the meantime, local leaders are stepping to help their constituents.

“We as commissioners are here to serve and protect our citizens in Beaufort County,” said Gary Brinn, county commissioner.

“Our citizens were concerned and we went to bat for them,” added Robert Belcher, county commissioner.

About a month ago, the county manager, a number of commissioners and representatives from Martin Marietta sat in these seats to discuss alternative options.

Belcher continued, “We told the Martin Marietta folks that we’re not opposed to the quarry itself we’re just opposed to this one aspect of the quarry.”

The company wants to dump millions of gallons of water into Blounts Creek. At a sit-down in March, the two parties discussed using a different creek. Commissioners say both parties stood firm.

“It was a good informative meeting, and I learned a lot about it, but at the end of the day, there was no budge,” noted Brinn.

Even though the meeting didn’t change anything, Deck with Sound Rivers still thinks the situation can be resolved without a judge.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to come to some resolution that may not then, result in having to be in court,” said Deck.

Either way, they’ll continue to try to save Blounts Creek.

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